(WMC) - University of Memphis students were targeted in a recent rash of crimes. One student nearly became a victim Wednesday night, but managed to scare off two would-be robbers.
Witnesses told WMC Action News 5 the student was unloading items from his car when he was approached by two people who tried to rob him. The student is licensed to carry a gun.
When threatened, witnesses say he fired off a shot and the suspects took off.
Police are investigating at least two other robberies that happened near the U of M campus. Students are urged to make safety a priority.
The university said in an email to students that it is increasing the number of officers on each shift to increase their presence and visibility on campus.
The email goes on to say since July 1, there have been five robberies on or near campus. That number does not including Wednesday night's attempted robbery.
Suspects in three of the cases were arrested and charged.
U of M says it's working with Memphis police to solve the other two crimes.
School leaders do not believe the incidents are connected. They're encouraging students to familiarize themselves with the three A's of crime prevention:
- Be aware of your surroundings.
- Be alert to suspicious people and vehicles.
- Avoid situations you perceive as dangerous.
The email also listed other safety measures that are available to U of M students:
- Save the University Police 24-hour emergency number, 901-678-4357 (678-HELP), in your cell phone.
- Sign up for TigerText, the university's emergency text messaging system, at https://umwa.memphis.edu/tigertext/index.php.
- Use the Tiger Escort/Police Services escort program by calling 901-678-4663 (678-HOME) for an escort anywhere on campus. This is available from sunset to sunrise.
- Walk in groups at night, and walk in well-lighted, heavily traveled areas.
- Know the locations of indoor and outdoor campus emergency telephones. Here's a link the maps showing the locations: http://www.memphis.edu/police/phonesmap.php.